Film review: Whole Lotta Sole

Director: Terry George
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Martin McCann, Colm Meaney, David O'Hara, Yaya Alafia, Emma Hamilton
Rating: (M)
3 stars (out of 5)

Set in Belfast, Whole Lotta Sole (Rialto and Metro) was made in 2011 when the peace process seemed to be sticking, with a spirit of live and let live pervading.

Unfortunately, recent events have placed Belfast once more in the news as a place of riots, making it hard to accept it as the jolly town of this movie.

Joe Maguire (Brendan Fraser) has to get out of Boston in a hurry, so looking after his cousin's antique shop in Belfast seems the perfect peaceful haven. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, young father Jimbo (Martin McCann) has got himself in hock to the Mr Big of Belfast, Mad Dog Flynn (David O'Hara).

Mad Dog wants his money back or else he will take Jim's baby son for his clucky girlfriend. With no hope of getting the money together, Jim decides to rob the fish shop Whole Lotta Sole on Friday, when everyone knows all the Catholics will be buying their Friday fish.

Things go bad (everyone pays electronically now days), but Jim puts what loot he can find in a handy bag which contains the goods on Mad Dog (who uses the fish shop as a front) and attempts to escape. He then ends up barricaded in Joe's shop with his baby, the woman from the dress shop and two gypsy children. And that's when things get really complicated.

Best thing: A delightful cameo from Tom Hollander as a senior government official determined that no political sensibilities are offended in the siege.

Worst thing: For some reason Brendan Fraser is considered a comic actor but he seems to have no comic timing whatsoever.

See it with: Your bookie.

By Christine Powley. 

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